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Field-scale rice growing planned on Coastal Plains

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(Statement by the Minister for Territories, the Hon. C. E. Barnes, M . P . )

Field scale rice growing would be carried out during the 1965/66 season on 100 acres of coastal plains land on the Adelaide River, about 45 miles from Darwin, in the Northern Territory, the Minister for Territories, Mr. C.E. Barnes,

announced today.

He said that the Northern Territory Administration was preparing the land for the crop, which would enable agricultural officers to test on a field scale the knowledge gained from small scale plots at research stations.

The Government hoped that the work would provide essential knowledge on such practical matters as suitable rice types, the best timing of cultivation and harvesting of rice under coastal plains conditions, and the best ways of

using machinery.

This knowledge was essential to future efforts to promote commercial rice production in the coastal plains area of the Territory.

The land chosen for the field trials is part of an area previously set aside for the establishment of three test farms.

Cultivation of the 100-acre rice crop and research on small scale plots during the 1964/65 season would provide further data for determining the best method of launching commercial farming operations in the area.

Mr. Barnes said that despite set-backs to previous rice-farming attempts in this area he believed that, with perseverance, a profitable industry could be established in the future.

CANBERRA, A.C.T. and DARWIN, N.T. 14th July, 1965